General Article Childhood obesity

Topic Selected: Fitness
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What do we know?

Nearly a third (31%) of children aged two to 15 are overweight or obese.1 The direct cost of obesity to the NHS is estimated to be £4.2 billion a year.2 The causes of obesity are complex, but the problem is closely linked with obesogenic environments, which encourage children to consume too much food that is rich in salt, fat and sugar and encourage a sedentary lifestyle. Parents need more support to help their children to maintain a healthy weight. Overweight parents often have overweight children, and perinatal programming and their lifestyle choices have a significant influence.3 Parenting style has an impact on children’s lifestyle and emotional well-being, with a subsequent impact on weight. The consequences of obesity later in life include problems with joints and bones, hypertension, heart failure, high blood pressure and high levels of blood fats. Increasingly, teenagers are developing early onset type 2 diabetes as a result of their weight. Obesity can als...

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